Legal Theory 20 (4):253-285 (2014)

James Edwards
Oxford University
Much time has been spent arguing about the soundness of But in the philosophical literature there is no single such principle; there are many harm principles. And many objections pressed against are objections to only some of these principles. The first half of this paper draws a number of distinctions between harm principles. It then argues that each harm principle is compatible with many other principles that impose limits on the law, including but not limited to other harm principles. The second half of the paper applies the lessons of the first to a number of prominent objections to That principle has been accused of a) being underinclusive; b) misrepresenting the reasons why many act-types ought to be legally proscribed; c) permitting lawmakers to treat people as mere means of achieving their ends; and d) being overinclusive. The paper argues that one harm principle survives all four objections
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/s135232521500004x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,257
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Intending, Foreseeing, and the State.David Enoch - 2007 - Legal Theory 13 (2):69-99.
Public and Private Wrongs.R. A. Duff & Sandra Marshall - 2010 - In James Chalmers, Fiona Leverick & Lindsay Farmer (eds.), Essays in Criminal Law in Honour of Sir Gerald Gordon. Edinburgh: Edinburhg University Press. pp. 70-85.
Doing, Allowing, and the State.Adam Omar Hosein - 2014 - Law and Philosophy 33 (2):235-264.
Politics is About the Grievance.Gerald J. Postema - 2005 - Legal Theory 11 (3):293-323.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Understanding Harm and its Moral Significance.Matthew Hanser - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (4):853-870.
Theories of Criminal Law.Antony Duff - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Drug Proscriptions as Proxy Crimes.Douglas Husak - 2017 - Law and Philosophy 36 (4):345-366.
Wrongs, Crimes, and Criminalization.Douglas Husak - 2019 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 13 (3):393-407.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

What is the Harm Principle For?John Stanton-Ife - 2016 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 10 (2):329-353.
The Harm Principle.Nils Holtug - 2002 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (4):357-389.
Sequential Dominance and the Anti-Aggregation Principle.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (6):1593-1601.
Harm and the Volenti Principle.Gerald Dworkin - 2012 - Social Philosophy and Policy 29 (1):309-321.
The Paternalistic Principle.John Kleinig - 2016 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 10 (2):315-327.
Mill on Liberty.Ted Honderich - 1967 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 10 (1-4):292 – 297.
Can Contractualism Save Us From Aggregation?Barbara H. Fried - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (1):39-66.
Mill's Harm Principle as Social Justice.Huodong Li - 2004 - Dissertation, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
One Very Simple Principle.Jonathan Riley - 1991 - Utilitas 3 (1):1.


Added to PP index

Total views
98 ( #118,047 of 2,499,765 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
10 ( #72,971 of 2,499,765 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes